In 1899, Charles Duell, Commissioner of the US Patents, recommended shutting down the federal agency. Why? Because, he declared, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” The mediocrity of sameness.
Addicted to the Mediocrity of Sameness
After the laughter has died down from hearing such myopic thinking, we might ask ourselves if we share the same smug attitude. Sometimes Christians maintain this attitude toward learning new truths in Scripture. “Everything that can be known from Scripture is already discovered. There is nothing new for me to learn. After all, I’ve been to Christian college or been in church all my life.”
In fact, occasionally, pride induces resentful questions: “How could that be true? I’ve never heard these things before!”
It is estimated that 75% of Americans never think; that 15% think they are thinking and that a mere 10% actually think. That small 10% of the population will be the significant women and men in the culture and in Jesus’ church.
Addicted to the pride-induced mediocrity of sameness.
What a refreshing contrast is Jesus’ attitude toward holistic growth. “And Jesus CONTINUED ADVANCING in wisdom (intellectual), and stature (physical), and in grace/favor with God and people (relational)” (Luke 2:52).
At the age of 12, Jesus knows Himself to be God’s Son, yet, He remained unsatisfied with the status quo. He continually advanced. His drive to improve His thinking remains our supreme example.
“Come weal or woe, our status is quo.” Is that our motto? Are we mired in the mediocrity of mental sameness? There is nothing as easy as thinking, but nothing as difficult as thinking well.
Break out of the addictive mold of stifling tradition and tired sameness in 2019. Partner with a seasoned Bible teacher and learn the refreshing steps of Inductive Bible Study. It’s an adventure of exhilarating thinking that will take only about 6 months to learn the basics. Start learning Greek or Hebrew through online courses or on your own with available books and workbooks. Identify with a congregation who are unsatisfied with predictable, shallow sameness in teaching, and hungry to be challenged intellectually each week—with a view to increase understanding of the incomparable Savior, Jesus.
Christians must develop intellectually, physically, and socially to become God’s effective transformers of the church and culture.
Current studies in the Old (Hebrew) Testament are fairly exploding with new wisdom and fresh insights of how Jesus is foreshadowed by its authors. And while New Testament studies lag behind a tad, we are now discovering just how drenched it is with echoes from Israel’s Scripture. It’s a leap year for fresh biblical studies. You can enjoy the fruits of this new season.
Break out of the tired mold of sameness.
At the end of your life you won’t regret it.
Thank you for reading.